Ministry of health deploys team to Renbel after reports of suspected Coronavirus

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) is actively investigating a report of suspected 2019 novel coronavirus persons who displayed flu-like symptoms on a shipping vessel in Renbel Province.

The Ministry (MHMS) upon alerted of the report, responding to the situation by sending a medical team to the shipping vessel that is currently quarantined outside Rennell Island.

“This team will provide the clinical assessment and also to take samples for laboratory confirmation.

“The MHMS is working in collaboration with other government ministries such as Immigration, Customs, and Police and with the support of the Office of Prime Minister to respond to this situation, and measures to prevent the infection from spreading on ship have been implemented on the ship,” MHMS says in a statement.

The MHMS wishes to advise that the sick people on board are, at the moment, only being treated as suspected cases of 2019 novel Coronavirus.

“The remaining people on the board are only being treated as contacts and will be monitored for development of symptoms and provided immediate clinical care should they develop the symptoms. The ship and people on board will be released from quarantine once it is assessed that they do not pose any risk to general public in Rennell and Solomon Islands.

“For people on Rennell, we would like to request you to ensure that the quarantine boundaries are maintained and advise and directions from health authorities are adhered to. They are strictly prohibited from going to ship. The incident does not pose any risk to the residents of Rennell Island and there is no confirmed case of novel coronavirus in Rennell as of now.

“The current public health emergency is a major concern and while Solomon Islands has not had a confirmed case of the virus so far, the Ministry of Health and Medical Services is not taking any chances. The health and safety of Solomon Islanders is the Ministry of Health’s main priority.”

In the meantime, the Ministry of Health and Medical Services would like to request that members of the public remain calm and exercise vigilance by ensuring they follow proper hygiene practices are followed.

1. Cover your mouth when you cough and sneeze.

2. Always wash your hands with water and soap.

3. Avoid crowded places and unnecessary public outings.

4. Seek medical advice if you have any flu-like symptoms. Call the public health emergency surveillance unit on 23650 or 7522202 and explain your recent travel history.

For more media queries please contact the MHMS media officer on phone: 25205 or email [email protected] who will direct you to the right person to address any queries.